Wet

Reads: 727  | Likes: 8  | Shelves: 2  | Comments: 2

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

The Emergence was the worst thing to ever happen to us. Now we're on the verge of extinction.

(Written for a cover prompt. Cover is a photo of the Rainman fountain in Florence, Italy.)

They came out of the oceans decades ago, tired of hiding. They used their majicks to change their fins to legs. They wanted to have what we had.

They stole it all.

I wasn’t even alive at the time of The Emergence, but I heard the story so many times I feel like a first-hand witness. It started with a handful of men and women coming up onto beaches; wet, pale, mystical. They were intriguing at first and we did everything we could to make them feel at home. We housed them, employed them, taught them, and learned from them.

But the land was not their home.

Their skin dehydrated to the point of desiccation faster than we could help at first. The ones who survived only left their baths and their homes on rainy days. As much as they didn’t want to live in the water any longer, they needed it to survive.

We tried convincing the Firsts to return to their ocean homes. We didn’t want to see the extinction of an entire race we had been trying to prove the existence of for lifetimes.

Our advice was not heeded.

They called on more and more of their kind to rise from the seas, though they were dying just as quickly as they emerged. Their population seemed never-ending, and they were determined to stay.

And they were smart.

Portable humidifiers were the first step in the reintroduction to society. It slowed death rated, but not enough. They dedicated their brightest, calling them up from the deepest reaches of the Mariana Trench, to solve the problem. The creation was crude yet effective, combining their unusual majicks with steel.

At a glance, the thing looked like an umbrella, only it was a canopy of water spouting from the tip of the pipe instead of cloth. An unending rainstorm to follow them around wherever they may go.

An unending rainstorm is what we got.

Things were well and balanced for a while, until we saw our world changing. Our sunny days were growing fewer, our air was growing thicker, our deserts were blossoming where no life had grown in centuries. The fountains imbued the air with more moisture than it could hold. It was hard to breathe on the worst days.

The worst days quickly became the only days.

They were now thriving on land and we were growing weak and sickly. Our lungs were struggling, and people were drowning in their sleep. But still, we continued living alongside them.

The rains never ended. Moulds grew thick and plants began sprouting wherever they could attach a root. At first, it was only uncomfortable and unfortunate, but as the balance shifted in their favour, we started dying as fast as they had those first years.

The sleep drowning was the easiest death. The sloughing the hardest—skin grew so wet, it began falling off bodies in massive curtains. Clumps of flesh just lay on the sodden ground, ignored in the commonality. They would be washed away by the end of the day.

They told me we tried to adapt.

We learned our biology was compatible with theirs, and in a desperate attempt to save ourselves, we tried to hybridize. Some people actually fell in love and created families during their short existence. Some had children to try and save us. Humanity began to shift into horrible amphibious abominations. Humans were a vast minority, numbers sinking more and more daily.

We tried to hide.

They would not give up our world and we could not fight them. We were too sick, too weak. We gathered and hid ourselves away in the deepest caverns. We tried to survive in our own way, though our population rapidly declined until only a few thousand remained. Then a few hundred. Then dozens.

Scavengers would go out to hunt the cities at night and only a handful would come home with rumours of new Farms. Human Farms. They were stealing people, forcing them to breed to give them everything from food to slaves.

Human eggs sold like caviar.

They never wanted to integrate with us. They were jealous of us and gave up their mystique to destroy everything we are. Everything we were.

Slowly, the number of free humans declined to nothing as every last survivor was hunted down, slaughtered like fish in a barrel, or enslaved to produce tender meat supplies.

They don’t know I’ve been hiding under their noses this last decade. Hiding and waiting to help my fellow humans.

My numb hand grips the handle of the personal fountain and I stand still in the lake at my feet. The sky is black, the thick rain clouds hiding the beauty of the starry sky.

I wanted to save us. I wanted to find a way, but…there’s no humanity left on this wet world.

The world has drowned.

The rusty gun in my palm is warm—it’s the only warmth I’ve felt since escaping the farm a decade ago. I came back, hoping I could finally do something. Fix things.

There’s nothing left to do for them.

There is no humanity.

Their eyes are dead.

I lift the old weapon to my temple, hoping the thing still works.

My numb finger slips on the rusted trigger, peeling my soggy skin like a glove. Sluggish blood flows from the wound, yet I can’t feel a damn thing.

They smell my blood. I see their teeth.

We never stood a chance once the sharks started walking on land.


Submitted: June 28, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Kristin Kuffner. All rights reserved.

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Comments

hullabaloo22

Great story-line and very well written!

Sun, June 28th, 2020 5:56pm

Author
Reply

Thank you very much!

Sun, June 28th, 2020 11:26am

Rob73

A great horror story.
In the vein of Peter Benchley, and Stephen King, and Dean Koontz.

Mon, June 29th, 2020 6:44am

Author
Reply

Thank you so much!

Mon, June 29th, 2020 5:57am

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